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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

So, I don't actually have the bike yet, but it's what I've finally settled on purchasing for my next bike. My previous one was a Honda CB750 (Nighthawk). I wrecked it and myself, but I'm all better now and ready to ride again! I've looked at several bikes, including Honda Hawk and Hornet, Yamaha FZ6 and FZ8, Suzuki SV650 and V-Strom, even some crotch rockets. I love street fighters/naked bikes, but not so much I'd sacrifice some wind deflection. I ride highways/freeways about 70% of the time.

After months of scourging the Internet for a bike that suits me, I think the Versys is the one. Any advice before I actually make my purchase?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Were I shopping for a "NEW" bike, I would seriously consider the new Honda CB500X - which are coming out slower than the 500R ...


http://powersports.honda.com/2013/cb500x.aspx
Yea, I was actually, definitely considering this, but it's still looks to have too much of a forward riding position. It's got insane fuel economy, but I think I'm still going to consider an older, used bike as a second as I'm still pretty new to riding. 2009 Versys is my likely year, unless I can be sold on a 2012. My co-worker has "connections" with our local Kawasaki dealer.

Edit: I do like the hidden compartment, though.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When it came down to the "adventure" type bikes, I was a bit torn between the V-Strom and Versys. On the ABS bit, I was told ABS spoils your braking habits should that system malfunction. I'm already used to non-ABS braking. I've never experienced ABS on a bike, though. Still think I should?
 

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On the ABS bit, I was told ABS spoils your braking habits should that system malfunction. I'm already used to non-ABS braking. I've never experienced ABS on a bike, though. Still think I should?
Ive got a non ABS 08 Versys and a ABS Ninja 1000 and do love the abs on the ninja as with her better brakes and using the brakes to max, you can stop pretty quick and did pay for it self once when a little old grey haired lady decided to stop dead on a main highway but abs does make you lazy as have to always remind myself when riding the versys.
 

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:welcome: As far as I know ABS not available in the US.

The test rode sold me back in 2010. Still lovin' my V! :thumb:
 

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I rode both bikes quite a bit before going with the Versys. I found the Versys was just more agile and responsive and fun on pavement due to quicker steering, probably in part to the 17 inch front wheel and quicker steering geometry. Also the engine feels peppier (due to a more linear torque curve) although power output is similar between bikes especially when you factor in the extra weight of the VStrom.

The stiffer suspension and more adjustable suspension on the Versys also does a better job of making the bike feel stable at higher speeds and in corners on the road when pushed. While my Versys can handle a dirt or gravel road, the kind a car can go down, if you keep the speed down, I would not really consider it a fun bike off road like say a light weight KTM 250. The VStrom is also a bit cumbersome off pavement as well but the softer suspension gives a slightly smoother ride on a bumpy dirt road and the larger and narrower front tire offers a better selection of off road tires. The Versys rim sizes however fit a much wider array of sport touring tires and the wider front rim on the V gives slightly better brake and cornering grip. I would not really consider either of these bikes more than minimally capable to venture off pavement. The only thing that separates them from a typical sport touring motorcycle on a dirt road is slightly longer travel suspension and a better riding position.

As for brakes the brakes on either bike are more than sufficient for the intended purpose of the bike and much better than the single rotor brakes on the Honda IMO. I did however get a considerable improvement in brake feedback when I replaced the pads with better quality pads. ABS is nice if you have to panic brake but you'll never know it is there until you do. I would encourage you to practice hard braking in a parking lot as hard braking is a skill that takes time to adjust to a new bike and to get programmed into muscle memory
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks! I don't have any particular interest in off-roading, but it's nice to know to keep my expectations low should I need to. As for brakes, I guess I'm over it. Maybe my next bike I'll go ABS, but for now I'll go ahead and hopefully make my purchase this week. I'll invest in better pads and maybe upgrade the suspension to dampen the front-brake dive.
 

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Highly recommend the SW-Motech crash bars as a first mod. A tall bike is easier to drop at a stand still and will cause tears if it is a brand new bike. They will make the bike pretty much immune to scratches and fairing cracks resulting from a drop on it's side and protect it from damage if you are ever unfortunate enough to crash like the guy in the video.


Touring windshield is also nice if you do much highway travel.

These along with hard luggage have been my favorite mods to the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
1. Crash bars. The video was very encouraging :p
2. Adjustable, touring windshield. I hear insurance considers your bike a cruiser/touring bike if installed with an adjustable touring windshield. I do mostly highway driving, anyway.
3. Hard luggage. Recommendations?
4. Brakes. Recommendations?
5. Suspension. Rec?
6. Upgrade bulbs?
 

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The stock suspension is adjustable for rebound damping and preload so it gives you room to make adjustments without upgrading anything. I like the EBC HH pads but others may have suggestions. I did not replace these until after the stockers wore out at 25,000km. SW-Motech make nicer racks than Givi and their top case rack is lighter weight too. Givi V35 saddle bags are the same saddle bags Kawasaki rebrands and sells as Kawasaki Versys saddle bags.
 
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